Edwin Poots lasted a grand total of 20 days as leader of the DUP (21 if you count the day he was elected, but it was in the evening so I won’t). I can’t be entirely sure but I think this makes Edwin the shortest serving leader of a Government party in the UK or Ireland. I will wait for the data specialists to pour through the information, but if Poots isn’t the shortest then he’s certainly a close second.

Amongst all this is the very real prospect of a Stormont collapse, which had only been averted late last night…


Thing With Feathers

Emily Dickinson tells us that “Hope is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words”. So what is loneliness? A wretched dark thing with thorns made of broken glass? In my experience, it’s much worse.

To give some context to what’s been happening, there’s a bit of a pandemic going on right now. …


May 1998 — The Road Not Taken

This is a piece of speculative fiction and is one person’s imagining of what might have been had the Good Friday Agreement failed in 1998. The peace we have is hard won and fragile, and this is an effort to depict one possible future had we chosen a different path.

A row of shops burns during rioting in Tigers Bay, May 2001.

It’s almost twenty years since the Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, failed. A desperate, brave and far-reaching compromise by all sides of the Northern Ireland conflict that sought to bring an end to the violence and establish a devolved…


If you follow me on social media then you’re probably already aware that talking about mental health is something that I do a lot, for a few reasons. It’s a way for me to be accountable to myself, it’s a way for me to play my part in dismantling the stigma around mental health issues, and it’s a way for people to get to know me better. I live with depression, and anxiety and a bunch of other stuff that I’m still figuring out. …


This might be a difficult read for some of you, it’s something I didn’t really want to write however events on social media over the last few hours have pointed me in the direction of my blog.

Some of you may be aware that a contestant of the most recent series of RuPaul’s Drag Race has been disqualified due to allegations made against them by a number of men who have accused said contestant of taking advantage of them through cat-fishing. Regardless of how this plays out, I am not here to talk about those allegations or to talk about…


I’m six years old and I’m standing outside in the freezing cold with a boy from my class. I can hear Saturday Night by Whigfield blaring from inside the school disco. I think it’s March or April, but I know it’s cold. The boy gives me a sweet and I put it in my pocket. He kisses me on the lips and I don’t expect it. I pull away and put my hand in my pocket and grab the sweet. He giggles and runs back into the disco.

I’m eight years old and I’m in my pyjamas watching Eastenders with…


This isn’t an easy blog to write, and it is borne out of some of the deepest, most brutal grief I have ever experienced, but for my own sanity and the sake of cleansing my own conscience I need to write this down.

Last Sunday, on the 5th January, my friend Gary died by suicide. He was 36 years old, has two beautiful young boys and was an all round fantastic person; the kind of guy who could have a room in wrinkles with a one liner, a person who you could turn to if you needed to speak to…


Poor mental health is like a rollercoaster, except there are no safety bars or seatbelts on the ride and the tracks could fall apart any minute. One slight nudge in the wring direction and the cart goes wheeling down the dip again, but you have no idea how deep it will drop or if you’ll gain enough momentum to come up the other side.

That might seem very dramatic but I’m a writer, and a writer with often poor or ill mental health — analogies are how I describe the world to both myself and to those that read my…


Learning to Breathe

I remember standing in the shower as I readied myself for work, letting the warm water dance across my hair and face and cascade across my skin. I must have been standing there for about five or six minutes, my hand pressed up against the wall of the bathroom as I gazed down at the suds run past my feet and into the drain. Unable to move, paralysed by a gripping terror that was snaking around my throat and pushing down on my chest like a bag of rocks. I was having a panic attack.

I knew…

Stephendonnan

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